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PC Builds - Sub 200 Watt and Sub 250 Watt

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January 29, 2014 6:26:41 AM

Here are some builds for you to review and rate or adopt if you want.

My goals
1) Powerful
2) Low Power Consumption
3) Small Form Factor
4) Largest SSD storage possible

These two builds are mini-ITX. These are not cheap unfortunately. The 200 Watt Build is $1064. The 250 Watt Build is $1096

200 Watt Build - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2JB7t
250 Watt Build - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2JBmR
January 29, 2014 6:29:02 AM

Why do you need power consumption to be so low?

What do you want to be able to do with the computer.
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January 29, 2014 6:33:31 AM

Silly. And using a 400W $110 power supply for these? Hmm... And the monitor (which is unlisted) takes no power? I'd rather look at laptops with these types of goals - at least they'd be portable.
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January 29, 2014 6:35:05 AM

tiny voices said:
Why do you need power consumption to be so low?

What do you want to be able to do with the computer.


I don't "need" the power consumption to be low. I just wanted to present two gaming PCs that can handle gaming well with a small form factor and low power consumption. The 250 Watt build should be able to handle all the latest games at the highest settings.

I was actually hoping Kaveri would have allowed for mid-range gamers to get rid of the discrete video card but that is not the case. So then I thought well can I build a system that has comparable wattage to Kaveri with similar power stats? The answer is yes. Two of my components really add to the price: the SSD and the 80 Watt Platinum PSU.
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January 29, 2014 6:36:24 AM

No it will BARELY play modern games at medium. NO WHERE close to ultra settings at 1080p. the 7770 is a medium settings card AT BEST if you like playing at 40-60fps.
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January 29, 2014 6:36:42 AM

giantbucket said:
Silly. And using a 400W $110 power supply for these? Hmm... And the monitor (which is unlisted) takes no power? I'd rather look at laptops with these types of goals - at least they'd be portable.


SeaSonic is one of the most reputable PSU brands. I would only recommend PC Power and Cooling above them.

TinyVoices, please don't give out bad advice on these boards. I have the video card that is listed in 200W rig currently in my gaming PC. I know for a fact it can handle modern games. The 250W PC video card will handle games at ultra settings.
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January 29, 2014 6:40:22 AM

sdogg1m said:
giantbucket said:
Silly. And using a 400W $110 power supply for these? Hmm... And the monitor (which is unlisted) takes no power? I'd rather look at laptops with these types of goals - at least they'd be portable.


SeaSonic is one of the most reputable PSU brands. I would only recommend PC Power and Cooling above them.

TinyVoices, please don't give out bad advice on these boards. I have the video card that is listed in 200W rig currently in my gaming PC. I know for a fact it can handle modern games.


Excuse me? the 7770 is a low-mid range GPU. What resolution are you playing at? It will not play modern games at full ultra settings. It simply will not at 60fps. IT can definitely play modern games, but not at ultra settings.
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January 29, 2014 6:43:04 AM

tiny voices said:


Excuse me? the 7770 is a low-mid range GPU. What resolution are you playing at? It will not play modern games at full ultra settings. It simply will not at 60fps.


Excuse me? I have this card! I own it. I play games on it. It WILL play modern games at a decent refresh rate. Although the rate obviously varies depending on what is happening.

The 250 Watt build will play games at ultra settings.

I think you are confusing my claims. The 200 Watt PC will play modern games. The 250 Watt build will play current games at ultra settings.
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January 29, 2014 6:47:55 AM

What resolution and settings and games are you playing? Most people consider 'smooth' gameplay to be locked at 60fps. I would MUCH rather play at medium settings at 60fps than high at an unstable 40fps with lag spikes and frame drops.

No, a 260x will not really play modern games at ultra. Some easy to run games maybe, but it is just a re-branded 7790 which is a high settings card at best in demanding games.
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January 29, 2014 6:55:23 AM

tiny voices said:
What resolution and settings and games are you playing? Most people consider 'smooth' gameplay to be locked at 60fps. I would MUCH rather play at medium settings at 60fps than high at an unstable 40fps with lag spikes and frame drops.

No, a 260x will not really play modern games at ultra. Some easy to run games maybe, but it is just a re-branded 7790 which is a high settings card at best in demanding games.


1920x1080. You got me on the frame rate. Most of the newest games are between 30-50 fps. I do not necessarily consider 60 to be a necessary frame rate unless I am playing FPS games.

The 7770 card, I play Team Fortress 2 and get 120 FPS but that game is roughly six years old.
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January 29, 2014 6:58:42 AM

My laptop with integrated graphics can max tf2 at 1080p. It is not even really a game to consider. It was even very easy to max when it came out. What other games do you play?
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January 29, 2014 7:02:18 AM

Sure, I'll play along. Here's what I would build:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2JCj5

A 35W i3 processor is more than enough for that graphics card, and saves you 20 Watts. No idea why you would need a 512Gb SSD, so swapped that for a 250Gb model. The Coolermaster case is horrible, swapped that . Your PSU is overkill so swapped that for one to match the required Wattage. You don't need 16Gb for gaming, changed that for 8Gb.

$817 and should play games @ 1080p at medium and be well under 200W

Swap out the GPU for the 270 and you'd still be under 250W and you'll be running games in high instead of medium.


Edit: ignore the bit I wrote about changng the SSD, just re-read your original post. Interested though, why 512Gb SSD? Why not, for example, a 250Gb SSD + a 2TB HDD?

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January 29, 2014 7:09:28 AM

Decent build. Dual Core is meh. Your link doesn't have a PSU and Case. I really don't need 16 Gigs of ram. I just added it because ram is cheap. 250 gigs is not enough storage capacity. If you are going to cut back on the SSD storage then I could have gone with a 128 Gig SSD and a hard drive. I wanted a decent sized single storage solution.
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January 29, 2014 7:11:42 AM

tiny voices said:
My laptop with integrated graphics can max tf2 at 1080p. It is not even really a game to consider. It was even very easy to max when it came out. What other games do you play?


Skyrim, Left 4 Dead 2, DayZ.

I guess I should have written a disclaimer, I am not a CoD or Battlefield fan.

I do appreciate the interaction. If you can come up with a card that does the job better and keeps the PC sub 250 watts then please make suggestions.
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January 29, 2014 7:13:39 AM

edit: i began writing this right after the excuse me posts so pardon if i mention BF which i see you dont like. it however does stress a good point :endofedit

Quote:
The 250 Watt build should be able to handle all the latest games at the highest settings.

Quote:
TinyVoices, please don't give out bad advice on these boards.

i do believe it is us who should be stating to not give out bad advice. the system just will not perform in the manner you wish. for example on bf4 max at 1080p http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2013/11/27/ba...

with that said, its a reasonable attempt to make a small pc however it is not very cost efficient at all.

i tend to agree with the others here. it is a bit silly to try and limit yourself to 200-250w (just for the record your 250 tops out at about 285w full load) since we all know that actual power draw varies based on the task. the average mid-high level gaming system draws about 480w max load (i5-4670, 2 sticks ddr3, 1 hdd, 1 ssd, 5 fans, gtx 770) with upper end systems topping out at just a bit more. this is max load not average load. much more price effective as well.

that gpu you have is middle ranged at best. while it most certainly will handle some games at higher settings its an untruth to say it will handle them all. that would be like me saying my gtx470 can max out ALL games just because it maxes out all games that i play (which doesnt include bf4, bf3, crysis 3, etcetera. while it certainly can still max out many games its an untruth to say it can make out all.

i could see a possible need if perhaps electricity was very high priced (like in hawaii it is 33cents per kwh) or if you ran off a solar array however to do so you would be sacrificing performance. you will not get max settings on the most power efficient hardware however that doesnt mean its all bad. its not a terrible build for low to medium performance. if you threw in a better card you could kick it up however it would require more power.

-------------

TLDR:

i think its an interesting concept but it doesnt quite work how you say it should. its also not cost efficient at all. while i do agree with some of your points there are concessions to make when it comes to making things affordable , making things good price/performance wise and when making something to play games on max.

i also think you shouldnt be saying the people are giving bad advice when in fact they were being completely truthful on the matter. you opened up the can of worms when you blanket statemented "all games" so he was entirely correct in his assessment and i agree 100%.

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January 29, 2014 7:27:00 AM

Thanks for the input ssddx. I guess the difference for me is I don't need something to be 100 FPS to be enjoyable. I should have stated that up front. That was not the goal of this build. I know some gamers want the highest fps possible.

I did try to find the best video card possible that kept me under the 250W threshold. I know Nvidia is working on great power savings solutions.

Finally, no electricity is not expensive in my home state (Tennessee). I could go with a 400W build and maybe pay $15 more a month with heavy usage.
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January 29, 2014 7:37:55 AM

games should run at a solid 60fps at least. the trouble is that when you have a weak gpu you drop frames (ie it varies from 30-50) which can cause erratic performance or lagging. that is never fun.

honestly i would give up on the 250w threshold since power isnt a problem. i would just pick parts that work best. mini-itx is also a bit cost prohibitive and not very upgradeable. mini atx would be a better choice though its a larger form factor.

keep in mind that the power requirements vary with usage. its entirely possible to have the system on 150w idle and 350-400w gaming draw even though by spec it could reach 480w maximum draw (outside of stress testing reaching maximum is not really going to happen.)

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January 29, 2014 11:51:51 AM

ssddx said:
games should run at a solid 60fps at least. the trouble is that when you have a weak gpu you drop frames (ie it varies from 30-50) which can cause erratic performance or lagging. that is never fun.

honestly i would give up on the 250w threshold since power isnt a problem. i would just pick parts that work best. mini-itx is also a bit cost prohibitive and not very upgradeable. mini atx would be a better choice though its a larger form factor.

keep in mind that the power requirements vary with usage. its entirely possible to have the system on 150w idle and 350-400w gaming draw even though by spec it could reach 480w maximum draw (outside of stress testing reaching maximum is not really going to happen.)



Agreed. Also, OP, Left 4 Dead and Skyrim are VERY easy games to run well. They are not considered difficult to run at all. dayZ on the other hand, there is no way you max that game at 1080p. Not possible. I have an i5 and a 660ti and I cannot max it. People with i7s and 780ti's can't even max it. The game is very poorly coded.
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February 1, 2014 5:24:29 AM

sdogg1m said:
Decent build. Dual Core is meh. Your link doesn't have a PSU and Case. .


Oops, forgot to add the case. Trying again with the case added!

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2JCnM

Dual Core + HT is good enough for gaming.
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February 1, 2014 5:27:03 AM

sdogg1m said:


I do appreciate the interaction. If you can come up with a card that does the job better and keeps the PC sub 250 watts then please make suggestions.


My build was aiming for 200 Watts. Remove the 260X and replace it with the 270 and you'd still be well under 250 Watts.


Edit: try this, a build that should, just about, dip in under 250 Watts

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2Li4e

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